Mission: Impossible

Season 6 Episode 1


Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Sep 18, 1971 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
18 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


An undercover agent, Hays, assigned to gather evidence against Syndicate head John Lawton, is blinded in an explosion. Lawton's lieutenant Dietrich and his business adviser Matula are rivals - Matula is actually an FBI undercover plant - so the IMF must keep him from being exposed and make sure he takes Lawton's place. Lawton believes Hays is working with someone in his organization. Jim, surgically blinded, takes Hays' place.


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  • Jim Phelps becomes a blind man to fool the Syndicate.

    A great Jim Phelps episode! Unlike other episodes where clever gadgets play a big role in conning the bad guys, this episode's mission is centered around Jim Phelps's ability to fool the bad guys by playing a blind, cash-strapped ex-cop drunk. Normally we would see Rollin or Paris play this big acting role, but this time we get to see Phelps do it. And he does it well, from asking for credit to buy bottle of booze at the liquor store right down to the psychotic hallucinations about ants crawling all over him in bed. All the while, he is completely blind. His willingness to undergo surgery to make him temporarily blind is telling of how much he is willing to give up to make the mission successful. It shows Jim Phelps' commitment to the mission and his complete faith in his team. For example, it was pretty risky for him as a blind man to fake being hit by a car (driven by mustachioed Willy). Overall, I thought this was a great episode. Peter Graves acting really shines. Casey effectively charms the bad guy enough to create a diversion. Barney gets to be a character and infiltrate the bad guys instead of his usual supporting behind-the-scenes role. We also get to see Tom Bosley (of "Happy Days" and Glad bags fame). I also like the epilogue where after Jim get his vision restore, he casually quips "Glad to see you again." Fun writing and a great way to end a good episode.moreless
  • An interesting main premise, but otherwise an ordinary crime drama

    I really liked the premise of this episode and, in a way, it was very ahead of its time. Making Jim Phelps temporarily blind and watching him stumble about was an interesting way to add depth to his character. Previously, the only way depth was added to a character was romantic entanglements, one murdered sibling, and one visit to a hometown. This was an interesting twist that a show was centered on a main character was voluntary put in a position where they were effectively defenseless.

    It would be interesting to see how this episode would play out if it were produced today. Advocates for the blind might say that the episode implied that blind people were helpless. If so, I think that complaint would be off-base, because the episode reflects a previously sighted person who'd just lost their sight.

    Other than the temporary blindness of Jim Phelps, this was a rather ordinary crime drama episodemoreless
Jason Evers

Jason Evers

Carl Dietrich

Guest Star

Tom Bosley

Tom Bosley

Henry Matula

Guest Star

Harold J. Stone

Harold J. Stone

John Lawton

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Lawton is referred to as "Lawson" in the initial tape briefing, but named as "Lawton" throughout the rest of the episode.

    • In previous episodes such as "The Heir Apparent" the IMF has used eyedrops rather than surgery to blind one of their agents and assure they didn't react inappropriately.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Johnny: You're the landlady?
      Casey: Yes.
      Johnny: Well, the, uh, the sign outside didn't give too many particulars about the room. But I think I'm going to like it.
      Casey: Look, it's $25 a week in advance.
      Johnny: Just what I want. Nice room, congenial atmosphere.

    • Casey: Hi, Johnny.
      Johnny: Well, hi.
      Casey: Would you care for a drink? Well, it's that time of the evening.
      Johnny: Don't apologize for it.

  • NOTES (1)